RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Cicadas are back, but one local professor is warning climate change could change their life cycles in a big way.
The insects make quite the sound, but are completely harmless. They don't even hurt the trees they feed on.
Clyde Sorenson teaches entomology at North Carolina State University. He says because of global warming the life cycles of cicadas could be shortened.
"There is some concern that global warming is going to shift the behavior of the periodic cicadas the 13 year and 17 year cicadas, and there's some evidence that as it gets warmer they may actually shorten their life cycles. There could be a lot of disruption to that really spectacular phenomenon that happens nowhere else in the world except in eastern North America," he said.
Cicadas are an important part of our ecosystem. While they don't have much impact on our lives, they provide a critical source of nutrients for some animals.